Volunteers are needed across Kansas to collect data that helps weather professionals monitor storms and track how the state’s climate is changing.
Mary Knapp, an assistant state climatologist at Kansas State University, said rainfall measurements are currently tracked through the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS.
She said more than 700 rain gauges are located in neighborhoods throughout Kansas, but more are needed. “Ideally, we might have one on every block to capture differences that a storm might produce across the state,” Knapp said.
Sometimes, Knapp noted, a storm can dump varying amounts of rainfall from one side of a town to the other – and sometimes even from one side of a street to the other. The CoCoRaHS network relies on citizens using a calibrated gauge, often located in their own yard, to report rainfall in their area.
“By deploying additional rain gauges and getting people to report those observations, we get a better picture of what is happening with a storm,” she said. “If people are interested, it’s a very good way to get involved with monitoring the weather.”